26 things to do in Montreal this weekend: December 21 to 23

Dec 20 2018, 4:37 pm

As Montreal readies for the¬†first official day of winter, the final weekend before the big day also has a lot going on. There’s plenty of events to keep you busy this December 21 to 23 weekend.

Friday, December 21

Dream Land

Christmas display

Sami Hajjar’s Christmas Display/Facebook

Once the ‘Christmas Display House’ gets going, it’s officially the holidays. Sami Hajjar of the West Island has¬†continued his ‘Christmas Display’¬†house again this holiday season, but he‚Äôs upping his game.

Compared to last year’s ‘Frozen Land,’¬† ‘Dream Land’ features 250,000 lights, inflatables and synchronized music to five Disney songs, four times a day.

When: From now until December 25
Time:¬†6 pm ‚Äď 9 pm (Every hour)
Where: 9035 Jean-Bourdon Avenue, West Island
Price: Free

Slava’s Snowshow

Slava’s Snowshow is a stage show created and staged by Russian performance artist Slava Polunin. The show won the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event.

Hosted by Just for Laughs at the timeless Th√©√Ętre St-Denis, the show will run for 15 dates, a variety of which have two or three shows per day.

When: Friday, December 21
Time: 3 pm, 7 pm, 7:30 pm
Where:¬†Th√©√Ętre St-Denis, 1594 St-Denis
Price: $46 ‚Äď $93.50, available¬†online

Cirque du Soleil: Corteo

Helium dance (Dominique Lemieux/Cirque du Soleil)

Corteo has come home. The Cirque du Soleil touring production premiered in Montreal in April 2005 and it’s back until the end of the month.

Corteo, which means ‚Äúcortege‚ÄĚ in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown. The show brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity situated in a mysterious space between heaven and earth.

When: From now until December 30
Time: 1 pm, 3:30 pm, 5 pm and 7:30 pm
Where: Centre Bell, 1909 avenue des Canadiens de Montreal
Price:¬†$62.50 ‚Äď $171.50, available¬†online

No√ęl Nights

The legendary Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright‚Äôs Christmas show, ‚ÄúNoel Nights,‚ÄĚ has entertained audiences all across North America. Described by The New York Times as ‚Äútypical Christmas-time family gathering motley, convivial, multigenerational, jokey, affectionate and tinged with both skepticism and faith,‚ÄĚ the Christmas show has been a family tradition since 2005 when Kate and Anna McGarrigle released their classic album, ‚ÄúThe McGarrigle Christmas Hour.‚ÄĚ

When: December 21 and 22
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: MTELUS, 59 rue Ste. Catherine
Price: $81.50 ‚Äď $270, available¬†online

The Beatles White Album – 50 Years of Revolution

21 musician from all over Quebec will pay homage to The Beatles’¬†White Album which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Special guests include¬†Helena Deland, Jesse Mac Cormack, Bernard Adamus, and Philippe Brach.

When: Friday, December 21
Time: 8 pm
Where: Gesu, 1200 de Bleury
Price: $46.60, available online

Alight at Night

outdoor light

Upper Canada Village/Facebook

Lights (a lot of them), camera… action Christmas! One of the country’s biggest outdoor light festivals is ready for you and the holidays.

Now that the Gardens of Light festival has packed up for 2018, Instagrammers need to get their lighting fix somewhere else so why not make a day of it?

From the enchantment of horse-drawn wagons to a life-size toy train, this holiday road trip will take you down the 401 to a magical place. There will be carolling, festive dining, and of course, Santa will be making a visit to take in all your Christmas wishes.

If you get cold, warm-you-up beverages will be for sale at the outdoor Carousel Corner Café, where two new holiday huts offer a cozy shelter to snuggle up in.

When: December 21,22 and 23
Time: 5 pm to 9 pm (4 pm to 10 pm on Saturdays)
Where: Upper Canada Village, 13740 County Rd 2, Morrisburg, On
Price:¬†$12 ‚Äď $16, depending on age

Nordic Square

Head to the Old Port and stand by an outdoor wood fire with a warm (maybe boozy) drink in hand. Enjoy performances by choirs, storytellers, Indigenous artists and much more. New to the Square this year is the luminous public art installations, including an enormous bear, shimmering light prisms and Bernard, the giant moose.

When: December 21, 22, 23 and 27-30
Time: 4 pm Р9 pm on Friday, 12 pm Р9 pm on Saturday and Sunday
Where: Places Jacques Cartier, Old Montreal
Price: Free

Swiftmas Dance Party

Taylor Swift arrives to the Grammy Awards 2015 on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA

(Dfree/Shutterstock)

There’s a Taylor Swift dance party where “Swifties” are urged to¬†Shake It Off¬†to Swift’s classics with a couple of holiday songs tossed in to boot.

When: Friday, December 21
Time: 10 pm Р3 am
Where: Foufounes Electriques, 87 rue Ste. Catherine
Price: $5, available online

Saturday, December 22

The Nutcracker Ballet

The Nutcracker/Goh Ballet

For the 55th year, the full-length rendition of Les Grands Ballet’s magical The Nutcracker returns to Montreal.

Choreographed by the late Quebecer Fernand Nault and based on German author ETA Hoffman’s original tale, the theatre play embodies the spirit of Christmas with its graceful entertainment, magical scenery and stunning costumes, to Tchaikovsky’s irresistible musical score.

The story tells the tale of Clara, who receives a beautiful nutcracker for Christmas. The young girl is then swept into a fairytale world in which the nutcracker becomes a prince, while mice and rats battle an army of toy soldiers.

When: Saturday, December 22
Time: 2 pm and 7:30 pm
Where: Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts
Price:¬†$99 ‚Äď $144, available,¬†online

Victorian Christmas at the Cartier’s

Discover how fashion styles dating back to 1867 are still in vogue 150 years later. The exhibition showcases elegant Victorian decor and styles, hot drinks by the fireplace, a Christmas card workshop, and champagne.

When: From now until December 21
Time:¬†10 am ‚Äď 5 pm on weekdays, 9:30 am ‚Äď 12 pm on weekends
Where:¬†Sir George-√Čtienne Cartier National Historic Site
Price: $7.80

Village de No√ęl de Montr√©al

Christmas Village

noelmontreal/Instagram

Montreal’s iconic Atwater Market has been transformed into a gorgeous Christmas market (we have proof here).

The third edition of the¬†Village de No√ęl¬†will feature ‚Äútwice as many kiosks as years past,‚ÄĚ vendors, concerts, light shows, a giant, decked out evergreen tree, holiday treats and outdoor screenings of classic Christmas movies.

As a bonus, the big man himself, Santa Claus, will be on site today.

When: Saturday, December 22
Time:¬†Weekends from 11:30 am ‚Äď 9 pm
Where: Place du Marche, corner of St-Ambroise and Atwater
Price: Free

Snow Tubing on Mont Royal

Take advantage of the pride of Montreal by snow tubing down it.

Discover the exhilaration of snow tubing down reserved lanes next to the toboggan hill overlooking Beaver Lake.

When: Saturday, December 22
Time:¬†10 am ‚Äď 4 pm (until 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays)
Where: Mont Royal Park
Price:¬†$5 for 4 ‚Äď 11-year-olds, $9 for 12 years old and up

Fontaine Boréale

Christmas fountain

amazing.views/Instagram

Christmas is usually associated with snow and ice so how about a little element change? For the third consecutive year, the Christmas fountain known as ‚ÄúFontaine bor√©ale‚ÄĚ is returning during the holiday season.

The immersive and multi-sensory experience features the Complexe Desjardin’s Grande-Place water fountain, completely decked out in the Christmas spirit.

Every hour, the fountain lights and shoots up to the shopping mall’s ceiling, accompanied by music, lights and special effects.

Or, it could actually be magic.

When: Every day in December
Time:¬†Every hour from 4 pm ‚Äď 10 pm
Where: Complexe Desjardins, 150 rue Ste. Catherine Ouest
Price: Free

L‚Äôh√ītel de Ville Christmas

Celebrate Christmas with a couple of heavy hitters: Santa Claus and Mayor Valérie Plante.

The Mayor invites residents to city hall to meet elected officials in council chambers, meet the big man, and there’s plenty of activities for kids.

When: Saturday, December 22
Time: 10 am Р1 pm
Where: 510 rue Gosford
Price: Free

Natrel Skating Rink Fireworks

fireworks

Old Port Winter Fireworks / Facebook

The Old Port is going to be lit this weekend. Actually.

On four select dates this holiday season, the Old Port’s Natrel Skating Rink will fuse ice with fireworks and this Saturday is the first of the season.

The 2,500 square metre rink, just off Promenade des Quais, will be open to the public and will host a firework display overhead. The rink costs money to enter, but standing outside and watching the fireworks is as free as it is delightful.

When: Saturday, December 22
Time: 8 pm
Where: Old Port, Rue de la Commune Ouest
Price: Free

Village du P√®re No√ęl

The Christmas season just isn’t the same without a visit to see Santa. Besides, why take a chance of bumping into the big fella on Christmas Day without getting in some face-time beforehand?

There’s an entire village dedicated to Santa about an hour away from Montreal.

Village du P√®re No√ęl is the perfect place for a holiday family getaway. Plus, it‚Äôs North of Montreal so in some ways, you‚Äôre heading towards the¬†North Pole.

Located in Val-David, the village’s summer activities are transformed into a magical Christmas experience.

Activities include ice skating, tubing, sledding, a petting zoo, and a mini train. And of course, Santa and his elves are on site.

When: Saturday, December 22
Time:¬†10 am ‚Äď 5 pm
Where: 987 Route Morin, Val-David
Price: Adults (individuals two years old and older): $18; Grandparents: $16

Le Village du Vilain Sapin ‚Äď Ugly Christmas Tree Village

Ugly Christmas tree

shaunethompsonphotography/Instagram

It‚Äôs important to laugh at yourself. And, that‚Äôs exactly what this year‚Äôs ‚ÄėUgly Christmas Tree Village‚Äô in¬†Whoville¬†Montreal will be doing this holiday season, literally.

The second edition of Le Village du Vilain Sapin features more than just an ugly, Charlie Brown-esque tree as this year’s evergreen is ticklish.

Yes. A ticklish Christmas tree.

Motion detectors and built-in loudspeakers will be incorporated into this year’s Frankentree that will bellow out laughter when guests shake the bottom branches to tickle it.

When: From now until January 2
Time: 5 pm, illumination of the laughing tree at 6 pm
Where: 57 rue Prince Arthur Est
Price: Free

Atrium Le 1000

anulka77/Instagram

If the weather doesn’t bode well with you this weekend, lace up the skates and glide to the lively beat of music at the Atrium inside one of the tallest buildings in Montreal. The rink is covered under an immense glass dome so you can feel like you’re outside without having to deal with the pesky weather. Plus, it’s gorgeously decorated for the holidays.

When: Saturday, December 22
Time: 12:30 pm Р9 pm
Where: 1000 De La Gauchetière
Price: $5 Р$7.50 (equipment rentals range from $1 Р$7)

Sunday, December 23

Natrel Skating Rink

montreal old port skating rink

Old Port Skating rink

From indoor skating to outdoor, we can’t call ourselves true Canadians without offering both.

Known for its outstanding quality of ice, excellent facilities, and breathtaking views of the city and the Saint Lawrence River, this is the place to go outdoor skating in Montreal.

There’s no better way to stick it to winter than bundling up and hitting the ice.

The chilled 2,500 square metre rink features a cozy village right in front of the ice and is a puck’s throw away from Bistro Bonsecours for a little post-game refresher.

Natrel’s Skating Rink plays rock, classical and jazz music on large outdoor speakers to add to your soundtrack of whizzing down the ice.

When: Sunday, December 23
Time:¬†10 am ‚Äď 10 pm
Where: Natrel Skating Rink, Bonsecours Basin
Price:¬†$6.95 general admission, $4.90 kids aged 6 ‚Äď 12, free for children under 6

Pente à Neige

No offence, Mont Tremblant, but we might hit the slopes a bit closer to home this weekend as La Pente à Neige has constructed a man-made ski hill at Parc Ignace-Bourget, which opens this weekend.

If the weather holds up, the second edition of the urban hill is big enough for up to 250 people and there’s also a mini slope on site to accommodate up to 50 mini-skiers.

The hill welcomes skiers, snowboarders, tubers and sledders of any age and features a cosily heated yurt, mulled wine, hot chocolate and music.

Guests can bring their own equipment or it can be rented on site.

When: Sunday, December 23
Time: 10 am ‚Äď 6 pm
Where: Parc Ignace-Bourget
Price: Free admission

Luminothérapie

Place des Festivals

Quartier des Spectacles

Place des Festivals is fusing dominos, music and lights in bringing Montreal the holiday cheer.

The 9th edition of Luminoth√©rapie, Quebec‚Äôs largest temporary public art installation, is called ‚ÄúEffet domino‚ÄĚ by Ingrid Ingrid. The installation will feature 120 giant dominos spread out across several different stations. The public is invited to play with them, each creating different music and luminous effects in the process.

The dominos are all topple-able as a musical orchestra of dominos illuminate in a rainbow of pastel hues and sounds.

When: Sunday, December 23
Time:¬†12 pm ‚Äď 10 pm
Where: Place des Festivals, Jeanne Mance
Price: Free

Hockey History Exhibit

The Hockey Cup History travelling exhibit opens on Friday at the Dorval Museum of Local History and Heritage.

Hockey fans can take a look at trophies, rings, hockey sticks, archival footage and over 50 hockey-related artifacts. Visitors are also invited to play a hockey tabletop game as well as a ‚Äėdesign your own goalie mask‚Äô workshop.

When: From now until April 17
Time:¬†1:30 pm ‚Äď 4:30 pm, Thursday to Sunday
Where: 1850 Lakeshore Drive, Dorval
Price: Free

Ogilvy’s Christmas Display

Ogilvy's Christmas window display

McCord Museum

Ogilvy’s Christmas window display, a holiday fixture at the corner of Ste. Catherine and rue de la Montagne has found a new home.

The annual scenes of stuffed animals interacting in mechanical settings, which has delighted Montrealers since 1947, has been donated to the McCord Museum where they will be on display every day in December.

When: From now until December 31
Time: 24/7
Where: McCord Museum
Price: Free

Mad Men Party

Mayfair is inviting Mad Men fans to join a holiday cocktail dressed in your best attire.

DJ Forrest and DJ Truspin will make sure to set the mood accordingly by spinning tunes.

When: Sunday, December 23
Time: 7 pm Р3 am
Where: Mayfair Cocktail Bar, 451 rue Rachel
Price: Free

Notre-Dame Basilica

Easter events Montreal

jiawangkun/ Shutterstock

Celebrate Sunday mass at Montreal’s most viewed structure at 11 am and hear a 25-person choir accompanied by the organ. Or, take a walking tour of the basilica which is an absolutely gorgeous spectacle. It is filled with hundreds of wooden carvings, several religious statues, and gigantic stained glass windows.

When: The Notre-Dame Basilica is open year round
Time:¬†12:30 pm ‚Äď 4 pm on Sundays (mass starts at 11 am)
Where: 110 Rue Notre Dame Ouest
Price: Free

See also

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT